Each week, BringMeTheNews will analyze the Vikings’ upcoming game from both sides, and give you “5 key reasons the Vikings should be worried.” This week the Vikings make their final road trip of the season to Miami for a tussle with the Dolphins.
For 5 key reasons the Vikings will win, click here.
5. Sorting the Landry
Jarvis Landry is having a terrific rookie season for the Dolphins. He comes into Sunday's game with the Vikings have caught at least five passes in seven straight games.
According to Dolphins.com writer Andy Cohen, before the end of the season Landry is likely to break the Dolphins' rookie receptions record and could climb quite a ways up the list of the league's rookie pass catchers.
Confidence won't likely be a problem for Landry.
"I'm going to make a name for myself in his league," he told Cohen earlier this season. "And I'm going to try to do it this season."
And it appears as though he has. If Landry catches five passes in each of the next two games, he will finish the season with 81 receptions, tied for sixth all-time in the NFL for a rookie, along with Keith Jackson.
When teamed with Mike Wallace the Dolphins have a pair of receivers, who can be difficult to cover and those are the kinds of teams the Vikings have struggled with.
4. 1998 'Going to Miami'
The 15-1 Vikings were supposed to go to Miami for the Super Bowl. Instead, Gary Anderson went wide-left and the Atlanta Falcons broke our hearts.
Before that NFC Championship loss, KDWB released a parody song to Will Smith's "Going to Miami." Instead of Will Smith, it was a song filled with player quotes and touchdown highlights.
This has zero impact on Sunday's game, but it probably cursed the Vikings in some strange way. Just a guess...
3. Sammy White ain't walking through that door
If you weren't a football fan in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, you probably have no idea what that headline means. Sammy White was a wide receiver for the Vikings from 1976-1985.
The second-round pick's best, or at least most productive season, was his rookie campaign. He finished his rookie season with 51 receptions for 906 yards and 10 touchdowns. Three of them came against the Dolphins, according to Pro Football Reference.
That just so happens to be the last time the Vikings won in Miami, Dec. 11, 1976. In fairness, Sunday's game will be Minnesota's fifth trip ever to Miami.
2. Too legit, too legit to quit
Mike Wallace will probably be matched up against Xavier Rhodes on Sunday. If Rhodes covers Wallace like he covered Calvin Johnson on Sunday, Wallace is in for a long day. But Wallace is entering the week determined to keep the Dolphins' ultra-slim playoff hopes alive.
It'll take a minor miracle for the Dolphins to reach the playoffs, but Wallace hasn't given up hope, according to the Palm Beach Post.
“Last year we figured we were going to go to the playoffs, and I’m pretty sure San Diego was feeling the same way we are feeling right now, like there wasn’t a chance,” Wallace said. “As long as we are mathematically still in it, it’s not over.”
1. Kalil bracing for earthWAKE
Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil, despite seemingly playing well last week against the Lions, has had a fairly rough season. But his week of success could morph into a nightmare as soon as the clock strikes noon on Sunday. That's when he'll be faced with blocking Dolphins freak edge rusher Cameron Wake. Wake has just 9.5 sacks this season, but he's considered one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL.
Take a look at Wake's game log and you'll find that he has a thing for sacking NFC North quarterbacks. He got Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler once each, and he buried Matthew Stafford twice. Is Bridgewater next?
Additionally, Wake is in a bit of a sack drought. He had 8.5 sacks the first nine games of the season, but just one in the past five, according to the Miami Herald.